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Zimmer: Cassel opens camp atop Vikings QB depth chart

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Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Matt Cassel is the number one quarterback as the team opens training camp in Mankato.

Zimmer made the comments during a press conference, in Mankato.

That doesn't mean the competition to be the Vikings starting quarterback has ended. In fact, it's just getting started.

"In my mind I have Cassel as the No. 1 quarterback going into camp. I don't have a starter in mind yet," Zimmer told reporters Thursday. "[The players] are going to determine who the starter is on the practice field about how they go about their business, how they perform in the preseason games. I understand the quarterback's a big situation."

Zimmer has maintained since minicamp that there will be a three-way quarterback competition between Cassel, rookie Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder.

ESPN 1500 reports that many observers have felt that Cassel will likely start the year as the Vikings starter, but some give Bridgewater a chance to win the job if he has a strong camp, similar to how Russell Wilson won the job in Seattle in 2012.

Cassel started the last four games of the season for the Vikings in 2013. He threw for 1,807 yards and 11 touchdowns, while completing over 60 percent of his passes. But he also threw nine interceptions.

ESPN's Ron Jaworski ranked Cassel as the NFL's worst starting quarterback.

According to FanSided, Cassel may need to improve rather quickly in camp if he wants to keep the job. There are many people in Minnesota who would like to see Bridgewater play.

"I can tell you, Teddy has been very impressive," general manager Rick Spielman told the Pioneer Press. "He's still a young quarterback. He's going to have some growing pains as we go through this, but he's been extremely impressive in his approach, not only what he's doing on the field, but what he does off the field, how hard he works and how hard he's studying to learn Norv's system."

Vikings fans seem to favor Bridgewater as well. His No. 5 jersey is the team's top-selling jersey, even surpassing Adrian Peterson's No. 28.

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